Navigating the Current Changes to CDPAP in New York

Our state has a long history of fighting for its most vulnerable citizens—but now we are facing a severe test. Governor Hochul’s proposed Medicaid cuts stand to greatly impact the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), which was established to promote choice, autonomy, independence, and empowerment for seniors and people with chronic illnesses or disabilities. Under the current CDPAP system, individuals can choose caregivers and manage care according to their specific needs, allowing them to shape their healthcare journey. It has been a powerful and historically successful program in New York.  

However, current state proposals threaten to dismantle it by including significant alterations to CDPAP. Instead of embracing the proven effectiveness of CDPAP’s extensive network of local fiscal intermediaries—experts in delivering tailored, community-based care—the Governor is pushing for a drastic consolidation. This would replace local fiscal intermediaries with a single entity, one that may even be out of state and therefore lack essential knowledge and a commitment to New York. Worse, the chosen entity could be a FOR-PROFIT provider. This risks a decline in the quality of care and reducing legal protections for our most at-risk New Yorkers.

What Does This Mean?

The consequences of this change are dire. Estimates suggest that transitioning to a single fiscal intermediary could lead to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs. This would disproportionately impact rural regions where fiscal intermediaries are often major employers. For vulnerable New Yorkers, concerns about potential impacts on quality of care and job stability are very real. That’s why at Consumer Directed Choices we are dedicated to navigating these changes to ensure continuity of independence and benefits for all participants in the program. Our path forward includes an unwavering commitment to advocating for you within the evolving landscape of CDPAP.

We Are Passionate Because It’s Personal

No one is more devoted to protecting the integrity of CDPAP and upholding the rights of New Yorkers than Christopher Graber, CEO of Consumer Directed Choices. Christopher is a former recipient of at-home care himself, so he has witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of CDPAP. Says Christopher, “This program doesn’t simply work; it changes lives by fostering autonomy and empowerment, allowing individuals to manage their care according to their specific needs.” Everyone at Consumer Directed Choices always has, and always will, fight for the communities we serve—which includes both participants and caregivers. Adds Christopher, “Now is the time to invest in, not divest from, CDPAP.”

What’s Next?

Given all of this, ensuring the continuity of independence for participants and caregivers is tantamount. This means focusing on advocating for improved benefits and support systems within any new structure that may arise from Governor Hochul’s budget proposals. While these changes will no doubt create uncertainties, Consumer Directed Choices will actively fight to safeguard the fundamental principles of CDPAP by directly engaging with policymakers and working side by side with advocacy groups. Through collaboration and perseverance, we will navigate this path with determination and a clear commitment to positive outcomes for the CDPAP community. By prioritizing the needs and voices of program participants and caregivers, we aim to shape a future that not only preserves autonomy but also enhances the well-being of all individuals involved. This vital program is too important to give up on.

What You Can Do

If you think you are helpless in this situation, you are not! Together, we must urge the Governor and Legislature members to recognize the stakes involved and to act decisively to preserve a system that not only WORKS but respects the dignity and autonomy of all New Yorkers. If CDPAP participants, caregivers, and advocates come together in solidarity and collectively voice our concerns, we may be able to shift the outcome.

The first step is directly contacting our elected officials to implore the New York State Legislature to listen to their voting constituents. When doing so, emphasize the importance of preserving your right to choose a fiscal intermediary under CDPAP. Let them know that consolidating into a single agency monopoly would jeopardize the autonomy and quality of care that the people of New York currently rely on.

When reaching out, use the following message:

“CDPAP is my lifeline. I strongly urge you to oppose any policy that takes away my right to choose a fiscal intermediary. Please don’t force a single agency monopoly on me.”

Contact info:

📞 Governor Kathy Hochul: 518-474-8390

📞 Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins: 518-455-2585

📞 Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie: 518-455-3791

Let’s stand together to protect CDPAP and ensure that New York’s healthcare system remains supportive, inclusive, and empowering for all.

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